Everything I need to know I learned from posting “Renovating the Ralph”

At the risk of looking like Martin Short as the overly defensive lawyer Nathan Thurm, I’m going to take an objective look at the feedback I received on my “Renovate The Ralph” plan.

Here are some valuable lessons I learned from message boards, Twitter & Facebook posts to my “Renovating the Ralph” article:

Bills Fans are highly interested in articles about upgrading Ralph WIlson Stadium

With over 5,000 visitors and 1,100 shares, Tuesday & Wednesday were the biggest days in modern The Kick Is Good history. At the beginning of the year I set a goal of at least 1 new post a week and 100,000 visitors for the year. So far so good. More good stuff to come. I promise.

Many Bills Fans genuinely appreciated the effort

  • “First of all, thank you for all your hard work. Your reads are truly awesome.”

  • “You had me at free wifi. *swoon*”
  • “Excellent!!!! i have been suggesting that something like that be done.. i prefer your idea much more than a new stadium.. if its good for lambeau, why not us?”
  • “I love the time and effort you put into this.  All of your plans seem feasible, practical and would definitely enhance the game day atmosphere as well as provide a year long reason to visit the stadium.”

  • Especially some very famous Bills Fans:

    If you told the 13 year old me back in 1988, that this guy would like something I wrote on the internet I would have flipped! Well, first you’d have to explain to me what the internet was, but as soon as you did that I would have flipped. It’s still pretty “f’ing great!” Darryl_Talley


    A Crazy Amount of Bills fans hate grass and are very concerned with access to ample parking:

    • “There is no need for all that grass bullshit. All it does it take away stadium parking. Really dumb.”

    • “Some nice idea, but…where exactly are you moving all the lost parking to????”
    • “you need to answer Jazzz’s question about parking. I like the concept but taking away all that parking wouldn’t make sense.”

    Even after adding, explaining and bolding the following passage in the article: “Even though there is lots of additional green, almost all parking/tailgate lots will remain unchanged. I cut the drive 5 lot in half, moved the limo lot and put grass in front of the field house, but all other stadium lots remain unchanged.” I still got anti-grass, pro-parking lot questions and comments like:

    • “Where are the administration building and the parking lot for the TV trucks in your design?”

    • “Your plan gets rid of all the Bills employee and player parking lots.”

    Just Say No! to Grass…fields

    • “Natural Grass. 10 years ago I might have agreed, but from everything I have read (and it has been quite a bit), the newest field-turf artifical surfaces are just as good (and better later in the year) than natural surfaces.”

    There is an incredible base of untapped architectural talent in the Bills Fanbase:

    • “Not to mention that removing and replacing the buttressing in order to create wider concourses at the 300 level…. Having a background in construction, I’m not sure of the structural feasibility of that (that’s a lot of weight on the upper deck), nor would it be anywhere near worth its cost.”

    • “How does your blue glass structure deal with the weight of snow accumulation?”
    • “The flat glass atrium spanning hundreds of feet and supporting a massive snowload is probably not the best idea.”

    And then there are all of these from the same guy:

    • “Real model builders generally tend to stay away from using Monopoly pieces and clear plastic tape.”

    • “The flat glass roof on the atrium is probably not a great idea. You’d need a pretty big open web steel joist at the front to support the load with several columns picking up the uniformly distributed loads.

      Another issue with that curved glass around the stadium is that you’re basically creating a giant wind tunnel. The torsion on the outside columns would be immense and you would most likely have to have thick steel or reinforced concrete.

      The design would actually act like an airplane wing.”
    • “I would suggest making it a curved roof, rather than a flat roof. You can use an OWSJ arch at the front rather than a straight truss beam, which would most likely reduce the need for any columns. It would also create a rounded half dome roof which would shed water and snow.

      As far as the wind, you’d have to either remove most of that glass to allow the wind to escape OR find a way to block the wind from even entering which would be difficult.”

    All valid architectural points I’m sure, but just imagine if this guy (and Mrs. TKIG) knew that I made the Bills new atrium out of the lid of one of our pieces of Gladware: gladware

    A story on my story? Interesting…

    No wonder Russ Brandon hasn’t gotten back to me:


    Why I love Bills Fans the Best:

    • “Yeah but will there be any place in the upper decks where the drunks can actually pi$$ down onto the glass roof? The atrium roof needs to be below the top level so this can happen, you know you want it to… You need to think about these things dude…”

    So your first question is, “How can I pee on this?” Interesting.

    I get it Russ, I really do

    Dear Russ Brandon, I get it. I also have a job where people give me their wack-adoo ideas and suggessted improvements all the time. A few years ago, the lady that cut my hair found out where I worked and would NOT shut up about this idea she had. She’d go on and on and on about an idea that was completely unfeasible. I couldn’t take it anymore so I had go start getting my hair cut somewhere else.

    You and Me Russ, we’re not all that different. So call me. I’ve got other ideas too. LOTS of them!!!

About Mike Sullivan

Mike Sullivan is a native Western New Yorker who has been writing since the age of 5. He’s been fanatically following the Buffalo Bills and the NFL since Jim Kelly stepped off that airplane in August of 1986. Mike has combined his passion for Buffalo Bills football and his unique sense of humor into the site you are reading today. He looks forward to bringing even more insight, hilarity, and fun to the WNY media scene.

One thought on “Everything I need to know I learned from posting “Renovating the Ralph”

  1. Mitch Stenger

    Gotta love the love ur getting from Luke Russert & Daryl F’ing Talley & other assorted Bills fanatics…as to those Architectural haters, maybe they missed ur blog subtitle: “Where Football Meets FUNNY” !! Hello??!!

    To paraphrase Coach Herm Edwards, “You play to win the game — even if the roof is made of Tupperware!”

    Keep up the good work, TKIG!!

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